Professional rider on closed course competition.


April 12, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 12, 2006.

The FIM MX1 World Championship resumes this weekend with Team Suzuki, armed with the potent RM-Z450, hoping to resurrect hopes of a Grand Prix podium at the Bellpuig circuit in Catalunya, Spain on Easter Sunday.

After a weekend break, in which Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon gained second and third positions respectively at Neeroeteren for the third round of the Belgian Championship, the team has moved to southern Europe for the first of two meetings within the Iberian Peninsula in one week.

“Last weekend was pretty good,” said 20 year old Strijbos, who is leading the Belgian competition. “I felt like I could push Everts harder and it was fun trying to pass him. In the end he was just a little bit too strong.”

“Bellpuig is different to Zolder and it is better for me,” he continued. “I am looking forward to going there because physically I am in much better shape than last year. I hope the weather will be good as it has been quite wet in the past. The layout is fast and I want to make two decent starts and complete two solid heats. I have been pushing my body in practice and I am confident that in a GP or two it will show that I can be strong all the way to the flag.”

“Sunday was OK but I can still be better,” said Ramon, who is preparing for only his second GP start as a Suzuki rider. “My starts were positive but I had some arm-pump and this didn’t really fade until the third race when we had made a few changes to the bike. For sure I want a podium in Spain. I know it will be difficult to win but I want to be in the top three. The terrain is a lot harder than Zolder but it can also be rough in places. I like the track and I hope we have some Spanish sun!”

Bellpuig has been the host of the Spanish Grand Prix every year since 2001 - formerly hosting a 125cc event in 2000 - and now readies itself for the seventh visit of the FIM series for the second round of fifteen in the ’06 campaign.

The hilly circuit in western Catalunya normally offers a fast and spectacular visual feast for a traditionally large crowd. The Easter period is a popular holiday time and it is unsure whether this will affect the attendance but the weather forecast for the weekend predicts cloudy and bright conditions with higher temperatures on Sunday.

Strijbos earned his first ever top three moto appearance at the 2004 event but struggled last year with his fitness and could only secure 11th overall. Ramon scored two top-five positions 12 months ago.

Free Practice begins Saturday morning with the 30 minute Timed Practice qualification the same afternoon deciding positions in the gate for the two 35 minute and two lap motos on Sunday.

For more stories about Steve Ramon, click here. For photos, click here.
For more stories about Kevin Strijbos, click here. For photos, click here.

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